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NEWS
April 14, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District's charter school office is too small to oversee the 83 charter schools in the city, state Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale said in a report released Tuesday morning. "By failing to have sufficient staffing and resources to adequately perform and document routine oversight measures, the district is unable to verify the validity of hundreds of millions of dollars it is paying to charter schools in tuition payments," DePasquale wrote in the performance audit.
NEWS
March 4, 2012 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
They walked in wearing matching T-shirts, banged on drums, and waved posters and flags as though cheering a home team. They were, in a way. They were celebrating the virtues of the schools they love in a plea to save them. That was the message Saturday as scores of students, faculty, parents, and community members attended a daylong hearing of the School Reform Commission. It was the last chance for supporters to make their case for schools the School District of Philadelphia has targeted for closing.
NEWS
August 9, 2012
By Baruch Kintisch Local and state education officials have been pretending that school results are independent of school resources - that children can swim in a pool that's been drained. Policymakers have focused on test scores, restructuring plans, and other outwardly visible factors. But they don't seem to be asking the more fundamental questions: What resources do Philadelphia children need to succeed? And how can we give those resources to every child? Learning happens when skilled, experienced teachers execute well-prepared lesson plans, when every student has a current textbook, and when classrooms have adequate space, heat, and air-conditioning.
NEWS
January 18, 2000 | By David Boldt
Trying to do some out-of-the-box thinking that might make Mayor Street's meeting with Gov. Ridge on education funding next week something other than a remake of Gunfight at the OK Corral, I have come up with a couple of suggestions. One would be for the mayor, before the meeting, to turn over to the school district a major portion of the record $206 million surplus the city amassed last year. By putting money where his mouth is, the mayor could suppress the argument - often heard in Harrisburg - that not even city officials think lack of money is the problem in the city schools, as shown by the fact that Philadelphia spends much less on education, proportionally, than other cities.
NEWS
September 6, 2013 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
With the opening of city schools five days away, contract talks between the Philadelphia School District and the teachers' union continued Wednesday without reaching a tentative agreement, both sides said. George Jackson, a spokesman for the 15,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said the district and the union would take a break Thursday to observe Rosh Hashanah. Negotiations are set to resume Friday. Also Wednesday, Jackson said the union had put on hold new ads blaming Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett for the district's financial crisis because PFT president Jerry Jordan is scheduled to meet with the mayor later this week.
SPORTS
February 23, 1999 | by Dick Jerardi, Daily News Sports Writer
The idea of a tournament among the city's six Division I basketball schools has been around for more than a decade, almost since Big 5 games began moving to campus sites and certainly since Villanova opted out of the full round robin. Play the tournament over a weekend in December with two teams getting byes (or invite two among Delaware, Princeton and Penn State and make it an eight-team tournament). Try any of the dozen formats that have been suggested. Get corporate sponsorship.
NEWS
January 24, 1990 | By Susan Levine, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's a woman in the top job at the Chelsea school department this year. Her name's Diana Lam and she's both the first woman and the first Hispanic superintendent in the city's history. But that is not what makes her appointment remarkable. The fact is, the people who hired Lam last summer don't sit on the local school board. They work for Boston University and hold titles such as dean of education. It's BU that is paying Lam's $75,000 salary, and BU to whom Lam is ultimately accountable.
NEWS
January 12, 2016 | BY JEROME KING & TERRELL PRICE
ONLY ONE out of 10 ninth-graders in the School District of Philadelphia graduates college. That's right, only 10 percent. Those were the odds we faced as freshmen at Simon Gratz High School, a neighborhood school in North Philadelphia. But when we were rising seniors, we got lucky: The school was selected to undergo a charter turnaround as part of the Renaissance initiative. Today, we're both enrolled in college and on track to graduate. Let us be clear: We would not be where we are today without Renaissance.
NEWS
June 9, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
An offshoot of New York state's Working Families Party has been striving under the radar for the last six months to push Philadelphia-area politics and policy leftward. Pennsylvania Working Families helped win voter approval May 20 of a City Charter change requiring city subcontractors to pay their workers a "living wage" above the federal minimum. And last week, its canvassers turned in just under 40,000 petition signatures to put a nonbinding resolution on the November ballot demanding an end to state control of Philadelphia schools.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 17, 2016 | By Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer
Hydration stations have arrived in the School District of Philadelphia. The stations - water fountains equipped with filters and separate faucets from which to fill water bottles - will be up and running at 43 schools when classes start next month, school officials announced Monday. Each school is receiving at least three hydration stations, and plans call for the remainder of the district's more than 170 schools to receive stations by the end of the school year, spokesman Kevin Geary said.
NEWS
August 17, 2016
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes made waves in 1977 with their hit record, "This Time It's For Real. " Superintendent William H. Hite Jr. may be humming a similar tune when Philadelphia schools open in three weeks. He's much more certain that the district won't have to beg for another large infusion of cash to make it through the school year. "While we continue to have work to do, the Philadelphia School District begins the 2016-17 school year more optimistic than we have been in years as we work toward our goal of great schools close to where children live," Hite told the Inquirer Editorial Board.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2016 | By Carolyn Hax, Advice Columnist
Question: Do you have any general advice on how to make big decisions? My husband and I are trying to decide if we're going to stay in D.C. in a house and area we love or move to the 'burbs for kid reasons. We're very happy where we are right now, which means the impetus to take action is really low. The desire to move comes from imagining a time when we might be less happy (i.e., dealing with finding a good school in the city). I know a lot of people do it, but they're more motivated and organized than we are. I really value the idea of having a decent neighborhood school vs. having to navigate the lottery and stress that come with schooling in D.C. We get advice that we should make the move only when we really need to, but we're already forming such wonderful bonds with local families that I hate the idea of pulling up even bigger roots.
NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District will receive an additional $50 million in state funds this fiscal year under the spending plan approved Wednesday in Harrisburg, district officials said. While that's $6 million less than expected, officials said the shortfall was manageable and could be partially offset by the district's share of funds collected from ride-sharing services in the city. "I do think that it is important to acknowledge the governor, the leaders of both parties, and the Philadelphia delegation," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said during a short news briefing on the budget Thursday.
NEWS
June 19, 2016 | By Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer
When other high school seniors are fretting over test scores and class rank, Adrianna Branin's struggle is to be called by the right pronoun. For Branin, 17, who was born female and appears feminine and attends Franklin Learning Center and will graduate Monday wearing a navy blue boys' robe, it's never she. Branin prefers them, they, or their. And when the principal or teachers slip up and call Branin she, Branin is offended. "Pronouns are huge," Branin, who works at Attic Youth Center, which aids and supports LGBTQ youth, said in an interview Friday.
NEWS
June 4, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Philadelphia schools may yet benefit from legalization of ride hailing in the city. A bill introduced Thursday in Harrisburg by Democratic State Sen. Vincent Hughes would guarantee money for the cash-starved Philadelphia School District if ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft begin paying fees, taxes, and penalties through regulation. The bill would also upend a proposed funding formula that gives the Philadelphia Parking Authority a minimum of $2.5 million and leaving the district with scant chance of getting a dime.
NEWS
May 25, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
An agreement between Philadelphia, the Parking Authority, and ride-share businesses virtually guarantees that the School District will not see a financial benefit if a bill to regulate such services as UberX and Lyft is passed as written. Under the tax structure proposed by the bill, ride-share businesses would likely have to generate much more money than anticipated to create enough taxable income for the schools to benefit. The structure is primarily designed to ensure that the Parking Authority will recover the cost - as much as $4 million - expected to be spent on regulating an estimated 15,000 vehicles used in ride sharing, a PPA spokesman said.
NEWS
May 19, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
For the first time in years, Philadelphia School District officials did not go hat in hand when they presented a proposed $2.8 billion budget for city schools to City Council on Tuesday. But they told Council members that the district wanted to begin talks with city and state officials now about how to address a funding crunch that is expected in 2019 because projected costs are rising at nearly twice the rate as revenues. "Working together, we have an opportunity to develop a road map to head off these challenges," said Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. "We are committed to getting ahead of the problem, and want to work with the city and state now, while we have time provided by modest fund balances to find recurring sources of revenue.
NEWS
May 2, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
Let's do the math. In San Francisco, in 2014, the beverage industry spent $10 million to defeat a popular soda tax put in front of voters to raise money for city schools, health programs, and parks. That comes out to about $11 spent by Big Soda for each resident of the Golden City. In Philadelphia, the beverage industry, according to the latest spending numbers obtained by the Inquirer, has already poured more than $2.6 million into the avalanche of misleading ads (it's not a grocery tax!
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